Our mission is to train, equip and support individuals and families in order to enrich their experience of God and to empower them to pass on a legacy of healthy relationships to successive generations in preparation for Jesus’ soon return.
Connecting lives for eternal living.
Recognising the mutual strength and support which the church must be to the home, and the home to the church, if the mission of the church is to become a reality, the Department of Family Ministries has adopted the following objectives:
1. To proclaim the reviving and restorative message of the everlasting gospel within the context of family living. Christ is and must be acknowledged as the Saviour and Head of every home. In Him, family members are at peace with God and at peace with each other. As they are drawn near to Him they are drawn nearer to each other, in love, forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, and renewal.
2. To affirm and strengthen every Seventh-day Adventist family as a primary discipling unit. Family Ministries seeks to deepen understanding of the relational dimension of being and making disciples and to strengthen family members as disciplemakers within the family. A married couple is viewed as the primary unit of the family. The department seeks to provide couples and families with access to educational, enrichment, and counselling opportunities to enhance the development of the relational skills necessary for the effective discipling of one another and growth toward optimal Christian marriage, parent-child and extended family relationships.
3. To enable parents and families to increase the likelihood of successful transference of Christian Seventh-day Adventist values to the next generation. Family Ministries develops materials and provides learning opportunities within church and family settings designed to enable parents to make biblical values winsome to their children and youth. The department encourages an atmosphere within homes and churches, which promotes questions and on-going discussion regarding Christian values and tenets of faith among parents and children, young and old, leaders and members in an effort to foster the development of mature faith.
4. To create a "family of God" experience in every Seventh-day Adventist church. Family Ministries fosters an atmosphere, which respects and celebrates diversity within congregations and within the World Church, recognizing that unity is not found in uniformity, but in Christ, the Head of the body. Through a shared commitment to a common message and mission and a reciprocal openness, honesty, and vulnerability in relationships with one another, the oneness we have found in Christ may become a reality in experience.
5. To empower families for influence beyond the home. Beyond the priority placed on the home as the most important mission field, Family Ministries helps families to discover and utilise their spiritual gifts in the community around them. The department encourages and enables families to relate in winsome ways with non-believing family members, to befriend their neighbours, to share the good news of life in Christ, and to support, through their prayers, offerings, and service, the mission outreach of the church.
Biblical Foundation for Family Ministry
Scripture affirms the importance of the family and outlines the divine principles, which govern family relationships. At creation, God instituted marriage—and with it the family (Gen 2: 18-25)—as God’s primary setting for human development and nurturance. When Christ redeemed all human experience from the curse of sin, He redeemed marriage and family relationships. He calls family members to relate in ways that befit those who have responded to the gospel (Eph 5:21-6:4). Because the family is the primary place where the capacity for love and for intimacy with God and with other human beings is developed and where Christian values are passed from one generation to the next, the family is central to the disciple-making process (John 8:31, 13:35). As Scripture magnifies last day events, the spotlight again falls upon the family. The Bible predicts that before the great day of the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, God will give a final call to this generation, turning hearts to Himself and family members toward one another (Malachi 4:5,6).
Ellen G White held strong convictions regarding the importance of families and ministry to them. “There is no more important field of effort than that committed to the founders and guardians of the home” (The Ministry of Healing, p 351). “Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home. . . .By many this home field has been shamefully neglected and it is time that divine resources and remedies were presented, that this state of evil may be corrected” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp 429, 430).
The Department of Family Ministries recognises the significance of family in the lives of believers and nonbelievers alike. It endeavours to strengthen the home as a disciple-making centre where family members through their interpersonal relationships are encouraged in their relationship with Jesus Christ and His church, and where the relational skills necessary for winsome witness are developed. The department endeavours to keep in perspective both God’s ideals for family living and an understanding of the brokenness experienced by individuals and families in a fallen world. Thus Family Ministries calls individuals, married couples and parents to stretch toward divine ideals, while at the same time extending the redemptive, healing ministry of Christ. Efforts on behalf of families are held to be urgent, vital, and integral to the message and mission of the Church.